Series Overview

Money was scarce during the Civil War, and coins of all denominations were hoarded. This brought about a major coin shortage. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and the United States government issued so-called fractional currency in denominations of less than $1 face. This practice lasted from 1862 through 1876, and during that 14-year period there were five distinct types of issues.

The Second Issue was printed from October 10, 1863 through February 23, 1867 in denominations consisting of 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, and 50 cents. All of these notes have an obverse design of George Washington located within a bronze oval frame. The reverse of each denomination is printed in a distinct color.